Sports Career




Athens 2004
Beijing 2008
London 2012
Rio de Janeiro 2016
Tokyo 2020


European Gold Medalist
100m Tampere 2003 EU20
200m Tampere 2003 EU20
200m Madrid 2005 EICH
100m Helsinki 2012 ECH


Olympic Games Finalist
100m Athens 2004
200m Athens 2004
200m Rio de Janeiro 2016


World Championships
Debrecen 2001, Kingston 2002
Osaka 2007, Valencia 2008
Berlin 2009, Doha 2010
Daegu 2011, Istanbul 2012
Moscow 2013, Beijing 2015
London 2017, Doha 2019



It All Starts Like This

“You can’t buy this tracksuit, you have to earn it.” This is what Ivet Lalova hears from her father when she finds his old tracksuit in the wardrobe and asks for the same one. In a family of athletes – Miroslav (Bulgarian 200 meters champion in 1966) and Lilia Lalovi, she has already trained swimming and gymnastics, but her eyes are set on athletics… to earn a tracksuit.
She stepped on the track for the first time at the age of 12. Her father leads her there. But the stadium is empty. No one wants to coach kids. Difficult, but she finds a coach, Konstantin Milanov.
After that, everything starts moving at the speed at which she runs on the track. She became the Bulgarian Youth champion in the 100 meters competition in 2000, and placed fourth in the 200 m at the 2001 IAAF World Youth Championships. At the 2003 European Athletics Junior Championships, she won both the 100 m and 200 m events.


10.77 / First Olympic Games

10.77 seconds. This is the time the stopwatch showed at the stadium in Plovdiv on June 19, 2004. It was stopped by Ivet Lalova, crossing the finish line at 100 m. The achievement makes her the sixth fastest woman in 100 m in history (at that time) together with Irina Privalova.
A little later she steps on the Olympic track. For the first time. In Athens in 2004. Ranked among the best of the best at the time. Only three hundredths separated her from the bronze in 100 m, and in 200 m she finished fifth. Results that show Ivet is on the track to stay.
At the 2005 European Athletics Indoor Championships, she was awarded a gold medal for her time of 22.91 seconds in the 200 m. It is also the last time the women’s 200 m event is held indoors.


When the Wings Are Broken / Femur Injury

“I remember feeling like I was flying at maximum speed…”
In 2005, Ivet is in the best shape of her life and is already looking to the next competition – the World Championships in Helsinki, with the belief that she will become world champion. 
On June 14, while warming up the 100 m sprint at the Athens Super Grand Prix, she collided with another athlete on the track. When she fell, her femur broke so that there were centimeters between the two parts. People on the track are in shock, so is the world athletics community.
Ivet refuses to seek responsibility and compensation from her fellow competitor or the event’s organizers. In June 2006 the Bulgarian Olympic Committee awarded her the IOC “Sports ad FairPlay” prize for these actions. 
In 2006, Ivet Lalova was elected as a member of the European Athletic Association Athletes Commission right after its foundation. Over the years, she was re-elected in all four mandates, including the last elections in Munich for the period 2022-2026.


Return to Racing

Ivet returned to the track on 29 May 2007, at the Artur Takač Memorial in Belgrade. To overcome fear. And she does it winning the 100 m in a time of 11.26 seconds.


To Run Away from Fear

“You will be able to walk, but forget about running like before.”
The words of doctors in Greece cut like a scalpel. A little naive, a little unsure, but with a lot of heart, Ivet replies, “We’ll see about that”. How she accepts what happened and the support that comes from her family and friends saves her and leads her forward – to fight with herself, to improve herself.
Ivet returned to the track on 29 May 2007, at the Artur Takač Memorial in Belgrade. To overcome fear. And she does it winning the 100 m in a time of 11.26 seconds. In August 2007 she reached the quarterfinals of the women’s 100 m sprint at the IAAF World Championship in Osaka and finished in fifth place with a time of 11.33 seconds.
Ahead of her are second Olympics – Beijing 2008. She competes in 100 m, where she finished seventh in her heat, and in 200 m, where she reached the second round.


Italy, Amore Mio/ Eat. Pray. Run

The change. And the Love. In March 2011, Ivet Lalova moved to Italy. There she is closer to Simone Collio, whom she meets on the track and who is her support at every moment. 
In Italy, Ivet changes her way of training. An intensive program begins under the guidance of Professor Roberto Bonomi. She herself admits that this is the period of her life in which she tests her physique and psyche on the track to the maximum.
The change turns out to be for good and all her efforts pay off. The season starts with 11.08 and 22.66 and after a week she won the 100 m Diamond League event in Oslo with 11.01. After another week she ran the second-best time of her career – 10.96, during the Balkan Championships in Sliven, Bulgaria. Later in the season, she reached her first World Championships Final in the 100 m in Daegu finishing 7th.



Second Career Gold

This is one of the best periods in Ivet’s career.


The Biggest Win

Ivet is in an extremely strong sports period. During the World Indoor Championships 2012 in Istanbul she managed to reach the final of 60 meters finishing 8th.
Next up is the World Championship in Helsinki, the one she couldn’t attend seven years ago. At the 2012 European Athletics Championships in Helsinki, Lalova ran the distance in 11.06 during Round 1, setting the leading European result of the year so far. She went on to win her heat in the semifinals, as well as the final on June 28, beating Olesya Povh and Lina Grinčikaitė for her second career gold medal from a major championship. Ivet calls it his greatest victory on the track.
Third Olympics follow – London 2012. Ivet Lalova finished second in her heat during the quarterfinals on Women’s 100 m, equaling her season best of 11.06. In the semifinals she ran the distance for 11.31, finishing 6th in her heat and 19th overall. At the 200 m distance she finished 5th in her heat with a season-best time of 22.91. In the semifinals she ran the distance for 22.98, finishing 6th in her heat and missing out on a place in the final.
Ivet says that it is difficult for her to get into athletics because there were no coaches to train children. Therefore, in December 2012 she opened Ivet Lalova Sprint Academy, meant to help amateur, children, youth and professional athletes in Bulgaria. 


Run After Run

The period is extremely intense for Ivet. In 2013 European indoor Athletics Championships in Gothenburg, she won a bronze medal with a personal best time of 7.12 in 60 m.
In her first 2013 IAAF Diamond League appearance, Lalova finished third in the 200 m sprint at the Golden Gala in Rome, with a personal season-best time of 22.78. This was also the best time for a European athlete so far throughout the year.
She continued forward in the next round at the Bislett Games in Oslo, winning the 100 m sprint with a season best of 11.04. She then finished 3rd in the 200 m at the British Grand Prix on June 30, with a time of 23.02.
In Moscow, at the World Championships, she got to 9th place in both sprint events 100-200 m setting the time of 11.10 and 22.81.
In September 2013 Ivet said “Yes” to Simone and they got married in Italy.
At the 2014 European Athletics Championships, she finished 5th in the Women’s 100 m with a time of 11.33.



Changing History

At the 2015 World Championships in Athletics in Beijing Ivet recorded a season best time of 22.54 in the 200 m discipline. In the semifinals she ran the distance in 22.32, qualifying for the final and setting a new personal best. In the final she finished 7th with a time of 22.41, becoming the third Bulgarian female athlete to participate in a 200 m final at a World Championship, and the first one since the World Finals in Rome in 1987.
In the 100 meter qualifiers she also recorded a season best 11.09.


The Silver Year

Ivet is absolutely on the rise on the track. At the 2016 European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam, she recorded a season best time of 22.57 in the Women’s 200 meters semifinal, tied with Dina Asher-Smith for the fastest qualifying time in the discipline.
In the final she improved her time to 22.52 and won silver, her second major medal from the European Championships and the first 200 m Euro medal ever for Bulgaria.
In the Women’s 100 m Lalova won her heat in the semifinals with a time of 11.26, before clinching her second silver of the tournament with 11.20 in the final.



Diamond League Events / Shine Bright Like a Diamond

It’s time for the Diamond League, which brings together the world’s most elite track and field athletes in one of the most intense and colorful tournaments. Among them is Ivet Lalova-Collio.
In the first 200 m event of the 2016 IAAF Diamond League, the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix, Lalova reached the final, placing 4th with a time of 23.04. On 18 May she won the silver medal in the 100 m event at the 2016 Beijing IAAF World Challenge, with a season best time of 11.11.
Then she participated in her second Diamond League event of the year, the 2016 Golden Gala in Rome, finishing 4th in the 100 m final with a time of 11.15. On June 6 she won the Women’s 100 m at the 2016 Gala Dei Castelli in Bellinzona, Switzerland, setting a time of 11.19 in the semi-final, and 11.20 in the final itself.
Her third Diamond League event of the year was at the 2016 Bislett Games in Oslo, Norway, where she won the bronze medal in the 200 m event with a season’s best time of 22.78.


Another Olympic Games. Another Final

Ivet is going to her fourth Olympics – Rio 2016, as the flag bearer of the Bulgarian team.
There she reached the semifinal of the 100 m with a time of 11.31 and after two days she won her heat of the 200 m, finishing second in the semifinal with the season best of 22.42. At the final she finished 8th with a time of 22.62.


Step after Step. Meter after Meter

Lalova opened her 2017 season by winning both the Women’s 100 and 200 m events at the Golden Grand Prix in Kawasaki, the third round of that year’s IAAF World Challenge. She first triumphed in the 200 m final with a time of 22.98, before winning gold in the 100 m competition later that day with a time of 11.40.
At the 2017 World Championships in London she ran her season best time in the semifinals of 100 m in 11.25 and she reached 9th place in the 200 m with the time of 22.96.


There She Runs Again

A successful 17th season for Ivet. After dozens of starts in commercial circuit tournaments, she won a silver medal in the 200 m discipline at the Diamond League in Rome with 22.64, and just 10 days later gold in Stockholm with 22.63.
An injury put her participation in the European Championships in Berlin into question, where she chose to compete only in the 200 m event for the first time and reached 5th place in the final of the event.


One of the Strongest Seasons

In 2019, Ivet is having one of the strongest seasons of her career. The international recognition for her becomes even greater, and the hearts of the audience are irrevocably won.
In her first start of the season at Seiko Golden Grand Prix Osaka, Japan, she qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the 200 m with 22.55 time and bids for a strong season ahead.
After a month, she won a quota in the 100 m with her best result for the last 6 years – 11.08.After two European titles and two Balkan titles and a new record in 200 m at the championships – 22.45, 35 years old Ivet finds a place among the top seven at the World Championships in Doha.
She was awarded Athlete of the Year in the Balkans and won second place for Athlete of the Year and first for the public vote.


Stranger Things

In a super strange year that should have had the cherry on top of the canceled Tokyo Olympics, there were still a few starts.
In July, Ivet opened the season with a win in Savona, Italy, with a 23.20. In her next start unfortunately she got injured during the race and decided to keep her strength for the upcoming Olympic year and ended the season (The Olympic games were moved in 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic).


The Endless Road to Tokyo

“This 22nd start of mine was the hardest, but also the sweetest and the most awaited. I realize how hard it is to get here because I have done so much work and gone through tears, pains and joys. And the greatest thing is, along the way, I met people who inspired me.”
The road to Tokyo was endless, because of the strangest situation the whole world has been in. In Tokyo Ivet sets a personal record for the season in her 22nd run at the Olympic Games and becomes the first Bulgarian track and field athlete to participate in 5 Olympics: Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012, Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020.
And this is not the end…


5х Olympian

Athens 2004
Beijing 2008
London 2012
Rio de Janeiro 2016
Tokyo 2020

4x European Gold Medalist

Tampere (100m) 2003
Tampere (200m) 2003
Madrid (200m) 2005
Helsinki (100m) 2012

3x Olympic Games Finalist

Athens (100m) 2004
Athens (200m) 2004
Rio de Janeiro (200m) 2016

4x World Championships finalist

Daegu (100m) 2011
Istanbul (60m) 2012
Beijing (200m) 2015
Doha (200m) 2019

2x European Silver Medalist

Amsterdam (200m) 2016
Amsterdam (100m) 2016

3x Diamond League Meeting Winner

Oslo (100m) 2011
Oslo (100m) 2013
Stockholm (200m) 2018

1x European Bronze Medalist

Gothenburg (60m) 2013

5x Bulgarian Athlete of the Year


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